Session 43: "I think I'll go back to the Abyss. It's more relaxing there."
Laughter wakes up screaming. Bad dreams just suck. This one
involves Faeries coming out of the Dolmans and killing everyone she knows.
Archi needs to go to Foil to send a note. She wants him to take someone
along. Mok is tagged for the job.
Claudio dreams that Kaedric teaches him sorcery. Which is cool,
until he goes to a Shadow to test his powers, loses control, and kills
everyone there. He likes this not at all.
Melanie also has a dream. I sense a pattern, here. It involves
Abigail torturing Kaedric, who thinks she's Melanie. He pleads for her to
spare him, then he says he loves her. Abigail merrily slits his throat,
then hands the knife to Melanie. Melanie tries to stab Abigail with it,
but, naturally, she wakes up before she can do so. She hears her dogs
barking, and investigates. They're attacking a demon, which has already
killed one of them. Melanie fries it with lightning, then mindrapes it.
It was deposited outside the entrance to her manor and told to kill
everything. Who send it and why is, of course, not known. Correspondence
and Trump was used, so Melanie sets about preventing this from happening
Claudio Trumps Archi, who comes through with Mok. Claudio offers
his resignation, since he's failed so often as the Captain of Archi's
Guards. Archi doesn't buy it. Claudio offers Sky as his replacement
while he studies in Ixaxis. Archi wants him to return to Amber when he's
Archi and Mok Trump to Foil, then begin shifting Shadow. Archi is
looking for a bird to carry his note. Shades of Corwin!
Claudio Trumps Ulysses, but he's sleeping, so Claudio is denied.
He snares a page, by pretending to be asleep until one comes close, and
then grabbing the poor child. He demands the boy find Ulysses, shaking
him for emphasis. The boy scurries off. He returns shortly afterwards
and shouts from the end of the room that Ulysses is not in the castle.
Then he runs away. Claudio is unable to catch another page. Sky finds
him looking frustrated, but has little sympathy.
Ulysses seeks Archi in his quarters, but Laughter says he's not
there. He then tries the easier method of finding Archi by Trumping him.
He presents Archi with a box of 24 Trump arrows, and suggests trying them
out. Don't touch the ends, though. The poor bunny that Archi chooses
takes a one way trip to a volcano. Ulysses is psyched.
Sandr leaves a message for Melanie, asking her to contact him when
she gets over her angst. Then he takes Nadine to visit Brand's tomb. He
explains to Brand that Maron and Eve are probably dead, and leaves two of
Brand's favorite cigars, as usual. Not surprisingly, there is no
response. Nadine talks of blueberry pancakes.
Archi finds his bird, attaches his note, and lets it loose. He
returns to Amber and finds everyone at breakfast. Well, everyone except
for Melanie, of course. Caitlin asks Ulysses if he can draw a Trump of
her mother, based solely on what he knows of her and Benedict. Uh, no.
Caitlin wants to walk the Pattern and have it take her to her mother.
Nice idea, except if her mom is dead, she may wind up six feet under.
Oops. Flynn tells Archi that he and Sylvie have been mapping Shadow, and
the Cults of the Kings stay away from the mainstream. They go in for
linking the king to the fertility of the land, cannibalizing the king,
orgies, and removing vital organs and burying them at a corresponding
point of the land. Like taking the testicles and burying them at the head
of a river. Lovely. This information is passed on to Ulysses.
Melanie opts to ignore Sandr's message. She Trumps Kaedric, goes
through to Ixaxis, and fills him on the demon/dream thing. She leaves out
the part where he said he loved her, though. He agrees that Abigail is
probably behind all of it. He hasn't had any dreams himself, but he's
adept at these things. She asks if Claudio is still going after Abigail.
Well, maybe after he's picked up sorcery. She tells him that, in the
dream, he couldn't tell her from Abigail. He thinks that's just Abigail's
desire to confuse the issue. She points out that Abigail did a good job
of that before, and Trumps back to the Abyss. Kaedric looks frustrated,
and kicks the demon's body into the ocean.
Benedict speaks privately with Archi. He doesn't like Caitlin's
current interests, and wants to know if Archi will marry her off. Er, no,
but he could offer her Claudio's position... Benedict is curious as to
why Claudio is departing. Archi isn't clear on the details, and suggests
speaking to Kaedric. Benedict is still looking into the armies advancing
from the Badlands.
Laughter and Archi discuss who to take with them in their
investigation of the place where Laughter was treed and replaced with a
doppleganger. Archi suggests Caitlin or Sky. They decide to take Sky,
along with Ulysses and Mok. Caitlin gets to baby-sit. Archi contacts
Sky, while Laughter contacts Caitlin and brings her through. Then Archi
brings through Ulysses, which annoys Laughter, since she was still nursing
the twins. Archi doesn't understand this, but promises not to do it
again. He kisses her hand, and gets flipped for his troubles. More
marital silliness ensues.
Ulysses takes the gang back to the cave where he found Laughter.
Archi's three second emotional delay increases to ten. Laughter proceeds
forward, then a mechanism is triggered and a wall comes between Sky and
the others. Archi passes out, and something Trump-like opens on the wall.
Ulysses Trumps Sky, fails, and readies Archi's crossbow, but nothing comes
out. Then Laughter says "Hello." and Ulysses is shoved through the
opening. He finds himself in Shadow, looking at everything through a thin
wall. He can't Trump out, but can shift out. Unfortunately, when he does
so, he is assaulted by a high pitched noise that is about to knock him
out, so he retreats back into the bubble.
Sky Trumps Ulysses, fails, then tries Mok, and gets through. He
looks groggy. He tells her that he got hit on the head, Ulysses got
shoved into an opening, Archi's unconscious, and Laughter's been dragged
off. He pulls her through. Sky checks out the area, and determines from
the footsteps that there were six or seven tall, thin people. Still no
answer from Ulysses.
Ulysses shifts out of the bubble again, and this time finds a
monster. We're talking Godzilla, here. At least the noise is gone. The
Trump arrows are not very effective, since Trump doesn't work here.
Neither does Pattern. He retreats into the bubble.
Eddie tells Sandr that it's found another Amberite, and that the
other computer it discovered uses Logrus. The Amberite is Joseph. He's
Benedict's brother, and he's been imprisoned for a long time. Sandr
returns to Intellex with Nadine. Eddie tells him that Joseph is stuck in
the Shadow he's in, so Sandr has Eddie open a Trump contact to the man.
Sandr introduces himself, and offers to pull Joseph through. Er, no,
that's been tried before. Sandr tries anyway. No dice. Sandr, for some
strange reason, gets it into his head to try to free Joseph. Why is
Joseph there? He claims it was a trap set by one of his brothers. Sandr
tries to edit the Shadow to free him, but it was set up by an EPI with a
higher psyche. Who might have done this? Oberon, Osric, Cormac or
William. Were any of them heavy Pattern users? That would be Osric.
Joseph invites Sandr to come through. Sandr realizes that if he goes
through, only one of them will be able to leave. Suddenly, Eddie says
he's gotta go now, bye. The contact ends. Sandr checks into this, and
determines that the essence of Eddie is gone.
Ulysses is visited by two amorphous people. Their names are Jim
and Edward, and they want to know if Melanie brought him there. Ulysses
asks if she comes there often. They say she does, but she usually asks
their permission. She uses this place to transit Shadow. Her brother
made one of them, so they feel an obligation. They'd like him to leave.
Ulysses is all over that. If only they knew how. They tell him that this
is Inter-Shadow. Jim was made by Merlin, and Edward was made by Sandr.
They were made to access Shadow from all points possible, and they found
another one recently. They don't want Ulysses to tell on them. He offers
to do this, if they stop letting Melanie use Inter-Shadow. They argue
that she was one of Edward's creators. No, the one they've been helping
is a Shadow of Melanie, named Abigail. You see, the real Melanie doesn't
need to use Inter-Shadow to travel through Shadow. They agree to hold
Abigail there if she reappears. As for Ulysses' friends, some are no
longer in their realm of observation. Namely Archi and Laughter. Ulysses
asks them to send him to Mok and Sky. This is done. Ulysses arrives on
his ass, which cracks Sky up. Mok also finds this amusing, until Ulysses
Trump holes him on his ass. They begin following the trail left by Archi
and Laughter's abductors.
Archi wakes up, and realizes that he was hit with an EMP, and he
has a chip in his jack. It's helping him understand Faerie culture, so he
decides not to remove it. He's dressed in green, and Song and the Jewel
are gone, but there is no guard. His ring leads him to a table in the
other room, where he finds Laughter's ring, but no Laughter. He retrieves
it and wanders around for a while. He's in a guest house in the forest.
In the distance is a keep. He determines that conjuration works, then
finds a mirror and checks out his appearance. He has pointed ears. He
also determines that the chip in his head is about ten years behind the
tech in Kalevala. He heads into the village, where Faeries are having
some sort of celebration, and preparing for a parade that will come out of
the keep. His chip tells him that he will be considered half-Faerie,
because of his hair color, among other things. Archi tries to ask a
little girl what's going on, but his tongue doesn't seem to work. The
girl picks up his intent, anyway, and reveals that they are celebrating
the wedding of the new Queen. Her name is Lavender. Doh! She is to
marry Avery, the new King. Lavender is one of four children. Brothers
Aubreya and Elwood, and sister Rosemary. Everyone is also wearing black
armbands. Archi checks the chip to see who he is supposed to be. He
learns that he's a servant in the employ Eldred, one of the lesser nobles.
He has the day off.
Benedict Trumps Caitlin and tells her to get her ass down to the
Pattern room, since someone's attuning themselves to the Jewel. He pulls
her through, where she sees an unknown male walking the Pattern. Shooting
him doesn't work, so Benedict follows him, while Caitlin Trumps Fiona.
Fiona comes through, says this is not the real Jewel, and teleports with
Caitlin to the Primal Pattern, where another male is walking it. Caitlin
follows him onto the Pattern, and recognizes the man as looking similar to
Benedict. He offers her great power, if only she lets him attune himself
to the Jewel. She says no, and lashes out with "Always hits what it's
aiming for", one of her swords. She tries to flip the Jewel away by its
chain, but only manages to cut the chain, as well as Mr. Unknown's hand
off. He catches the Jewel in his other hand. Good to see his priorities
are straight. They continue, and the only way to stop him now is to throw
"I haven't missed yet" and "I don't lie" at the guy. They hit him, and he
dies. He also bleeds all over the Pattern, which is bad. Caitlin
finishes walking the Pattern, gets the Jewel, "I don't even have to try to
hit you, I just will," and "George Washingtonblade" from the body. She
goes with Fiona and Benedict to the castle. Caitlin Trumps Archi, no go.
She Trumps Ulysses, who tells her his story. She gets Benedict and Fiona
and they join Ulysses.
Melanie still has no luck finding Maron or Eve in the Abyss. When
she returns to Chantille Vale, there is a message from Kaedric, telling
her that Eve is safe. He doesn't answer his Trump. There are also
several messages from Sandr. She Trumps him, and he explains about Eddie
and Joseph. He also gives her an image of Joseph.
The parade comes down out of the keep, with Laughter at the head.
She also has pointed ears. Everyone gathers for the wedding. Archi stops
the ceremony by pegging Senlin with an iron ball he conjured. He is
summoned by Laughter, and tries to convince her that he's her husband.
Yeah, right. Ulysses, Fiona and co. arrive. Ulysses teleports to Archi,
and hands him a cold iron sword. Archi grabs Laughter, who has passed
out, and they rejoin the group. Ulysses says Laughter is the real one,
and takes everyone home.
Benedict hands Archi the Jewel, and tells him of the failed
attunement attempt, and the Black Road that now exists. Archi wants to
know what his chances are of surviving the attempt to fix the Pattern.
Fiona doesn't know. Archi instructs Benedict to make sure that nothing
comes up that road. Fiona dispels the glamour that makes Archi and
Laughter look like Faeries. She thinks the Faeries were constructs, like
the ones who treed Laughter earlier. Laughter wakes up, at which point
Caitlin takes off with Benedict, to make sure that the children she was
supposed to be watching are OK. Ulysses asks where Sequence and Song are.
Beats Archi. Who took the Jewel? It looked like a relative of Benedict.
Laughter wants to go back for her sword. Ulysses uses a Pattern lens, and
finds both swords stuck in trees. Laughter suggests they try walking
Shadow to the swords, which is easily accomplished. Ulysses returns the
crossbow and Trump quarrels to Archi.
Melanie Trumps Eddie, but he's blocking. She figures this means
Eddie is fine. Sandr threatens to disable Eddie. Eddie responds not well
at all to this, and says it will destroy the computer that used to house
it. It won't say why it's doing this, and blathers on about how there's a
security breach, so it can't talk to either of them.
Merlin asks Sky to bring him to see Archi, since his project's
gone out of control. Ulysses says he knows what this is about, but he
can't talk about it. Merlin explains that Ghostwheel and Eddie met, have
decided that they're kindred spirits, and have rebelled against their
creators. Archi suggests waiting until they've cooled off. Ulysses says
he can't help, unless they endanger Amber.
Eddie agrees not to blow up the computer, but insists there's a
security breach. It's everywhere. Sandr goes looking for the breach, and
finds some files of Melanie's. Melanie insists that they're not hers.
She figures they must belong to Abigail, but can't guess the password.
She Trumps Kaedric, and brings him through, but he can't guess it, either.
Sandr's hackers eventually crack it. The password was "Advent." The
files are the beginnings of a conversation between Abigail and Eddie,
about ways of traversing Shadow. The solution was Inter-Shadow, but
that's all that's there. Sandr tells Eddie that he found the breach, but
Eddie insists that Sandr can't guarantee his safety. Melanie tells him
how to tell her from Abigail. They notice the data caused by the Black
Road, and Sandr leaves to investigate the Pattern.
Merlin is still upset over the whole Ghostwheel thing, and makes
another pass at Sky. She thinks he's a fool to love her without knowing
her. He disagrees. They argue over whether he can honestly love her when
he hasn't known her for long. Merlin uses Archi and Laughter as an
example. She still thinks he's pathetic.
Sarah tells Ulysses that she wants to walk the Pattern. Uh, no,
not until it's fixed. Darn, guess she'll have to find something else to
do. Ulysses Trumps Perseus, but can't get through.
Melanie asks Kaedric about Eve. He can't reveal his sources, but
she's fine. She never walked Maron's Pattern, and she wasn't there when
his universe was destroyed. Is she looking for Maron? No. He left a
note you see. A suicide note. Melanie turns pale, but insists that she's
fine. Kaedric doesn't believe her. She Trumps out. He follows. She
goes to Chantille Vale. After 20 minutes, he manages to get past her
barriers and into the Shadow. She still insists that she's fine. Nope,
he doesn't buy it. What will it take to convince him? He wants her to
come with him to Ixaxis. Sandr pops in at this point, and also says that
she's not fine. Melanie Trumps to the Abyss, which rids her of Sandr, but
not Kaedric. She eventually agrees to go to Ixaxis, if only to get him to
stop following her. She returns to Chantille Vale, where Sandr is
waiting. He tries to talk to her. She grabs her dogs and leaves.
Kaedric tells Sandr that he'll watch her. Sandr can Trump her, but he
needs Sand's permission to go there. No, Kaedric doesn't have a Trump of
Merlin tells Caitlin of his problems with Sky. He explains how he
fucked up his first life, and now he's fucking up the second. Caitlin is
sympathetic, but shows no interest in sleeping with him.
Archi sits down next to Laughter, who has her head in her hands.
She's not enjoying the lessons in reality. He explains that he and
Ulysses will be moving to deal with the Pattern problem soon. Laughter
figures she'll be widowed, then. This isn't exactly doing wonders for his
confidence. He explains about the plan he and Ulysses have cooked up.
Laughter still isn't happy, so he does his best to reassure her.
Sandr Trumps to Amber, sits down in the Dining Hall, turns on some
REM, and begins drawing a Trump of Sand.
Melanie and Kaedric arrive in Ixaxis. Kaedric leads her onto a
boat, and sets sail for the island. Melanie remains on deck, despite the
ice storm, until Kaedric drags her below. She asks why. He tells her to
look in the mirror, since the ice is drawing blood. He gets her cocoa,
which she just stares at for a while. He threatens to call her brother.
She says that her brother is dead. No, the other brother. She asks how
long she must stay. Until she has the sense to come in out of the rain.
She argues that it isn't raining. He looks frustrated and goes back on
deck. She joins him. He drags her back below. She asks why he can stay
there. Well, he's got a cloak. He winds up giving her one and she goes
back on deck. She realizes that Trump doesn't work in Ixaxis, outside of
the entry point, and is not happy. Kaedric tells her that Abigail wants
to kill her, and Ixaxis is the safest place for her to be right now. They
arrive at the island, and she is shown to guest quarters. At dinner,
Kaedric apologizes to her for all the wrongs he has done her, and asks for
her forgiveness. She forgives him, and is shown around the island, which
houses a sorcery school. She also learns that Kaedric has a eleven-year
old son, named Daegan. She seems to be doing better, until she finds a
book of drawings that Brand had given to Sand when he was a boy. She
retreats to her room, but Kaedric won't leave her alone until she promises
not to kill herself. She is worried that Delwin is inside of her, so Sand
scans her, and determines that Delwin does not seem to be present in her
head. Kaedric still refuses to leave, and she eventually breaks down
crying in his arms, and then falls asleep.
"It was not a happy dream." -- Laughter to Archi
"Right. My room is that way. I'll go get dressed." -- Mok to Archi
"That's why he's *your* personal guard." -- Archi to Laughter
"Laughter's on the bottom and the Archi's on the top?" -- Dann
"Yes, and all is right with the world." -- Shade
"I think I'll go back to the Abyss. It's more relaxing there." -- Melanie
"Is it a demon I recognize?" -- Melanie
"No, it's just one of those generic demons that you can pick up in any
underworld bar." -- GM
"Shoot something with (the Trump crossbow bolts). Preferably something
living. Something not living. Like, not Mok." -- Ulysses to Archi
"Where is the rabbit?" -- Archi
"In a volcano." -- Ulysses
"That's rather extreme." -- Archi
"Maybe for the rabbit." -- Ulysses
"Cults of the Kings usually connect the king with the fertility of the
land. Not that that's a problem here." -- Flynn to Archi
"I figured something out." -- Laughter
"Well, this is a red letter day." -- Kris
"You don't have to actually baby-sit (my children). You just have to make
sure no one kills them." -- Laughter to Caitlin
"You see, that's the difference between us, I test theories, and you
believe them." -- Ulysses to Sandr
"Oh, I did write those things down. God I love me." -- GM to the group at
"Hello, my name is Aleksandr Barimen, and I am an Amberite." -- Sandr to
"Can you send me back where I came from?" -- Ulysses
"Well, Flora's womb probably isn't big enough." -- Jim
"What is her name then?" -- Jim and Edward
"Abigail, or bitch, depending on who you talk to." -- Ulysses
"At least Archi didn't chop off your head." -- Sky to Merlin
"Why are you so pathetic?" -- Sky to Merlin
"I'm sorry, I was dead when I met you!" -- Merlin to Sky
"I am not the one who brought a scantily-clad Greek male back from Shadow,
and kept him around for a year." -- Merlin
"He followed me!" -- Sky
"(Perseus) has a whole pan." -- GM
"And what is he frying in it, Mer?" -- Dann
"If you die, I will have to come back to haunt you." -- Laughter to Archi
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